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Nine Out of Ten Voters Say 'Meritless' Lawsuits are a Serious Problem, Support Continued Legal Reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) released a national survey today that reveals 88% of voters who cast ballots in Tuesday’s election believe there are…

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) released a national survey today that reveals 88% of voters who cast ballots in Tuesday’s election believe there are too many “meritless” lawsuits, while eight out of ten want the next Congress to continue reforming the legal system.
 
The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for ILR and surveyed 1,000 voters on election day. The findings reflect the electorate’s overall concerns about the direction of the country and the status of the economy.
 
“On election day, voters sent a clear message to their elected leaders: enact policies that will create jobs and grow the economy. The results of this poll show that voters understand the high economic costs of lawsuit abuse and support pro-growth legal reforms,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
 
Indeed, lawsuits do impact economic growth, according to results from a September national survey of small business owners. Ninety-three percent of the business owners surveyed viewed frivolous lawsuits as a serious problem, and seven in ten said a lawsuit would hamper their ability to hire new employees.
 
Key findings from the newly released survey include:

  • By a 20-point margin, voters believe trial lawyers have excessive influence in Washington;
  • By contrast, 98% of voters say small business views should be taken into account in Washington, while only 45% believe they are currently taken into account;
  • By a seven-to-one ratio, voters said they would be more likely to reelect their Member of Congress in the future if he or she voted for reforms to end lawsuit abuse by trial lawyers;
  • Two-thirds of voters said they would have a more favorable view of the new Republican majority in Congress if their agenda included ending lawsuit abuse.

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.